O'Rourke borrows Trump's attack line against 'Lying Ted' Cruz in Texas Senate debate

Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke aggressively cast Republican Sen. Ted Cruz as "all talk and no action" during ...

Posted: Oct 17, 2018 1:54 PM
Updated: Oct 17, 2018 1:54 PM

Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke aggressively cast Republican Sen. Ted Cruz as "all talk and no action" during the second -- and potentially final -- debate of the Texas Senate race Tuesday night.

The hour-long debate showcased a major shift in tone for O'Rourke, who rarely says the names of Cruz or President Donald Trump on the campaign trail and has often bypassed his opportunities to take direct shots at Cruz.

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The change in approach could be necessary for O'Rourke. A new CNN poll out Tuesday showed Cruz with a 7 percentage point lead -- consistent with other recent surveys that have shown the Republican clearly ahead. O'Rourke had $22.9 million in the bank at the close of the third quarter of 2018, giving him enough money to advertise across the state in the race's final three weeks.

Minutes into the debate, as Cruz accused O'Rourke of supporting a $10-a-barrel tax on oil, the El Paso congressman shot back that Cruz is "dishonest."

"It's why the President called him 'Lying Ted,' and it's why the nickname stuck -- because it's true," he said.

The vote in question was a 2016 House GOP resolution that rejected the idea of a new oil tax. O'Rourke and most Democrats opposed the measure.

"Congressman O'Rourke sides with liberal extremists on the national level, instead of the people of Texas -- instead of jobs in Texas," Cruz said.

O'Rourke continued his more combative approach through the debate. He highlighted Cruz's 2016 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, saying Cruz hasn't visited all of the 254 counties in Texas, "but has been to all 99 in Iowa."

"Ted Cruz is for Ted Cruz," he said.

The debate showcased differences over social media regulation to combat foreign interference in election -- O'Rourke said he was open to it; Cruz was opposed -- and a stark split on the Supreme Court and the potential for the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.

In a line that underscored Democratic worries that O'Rourke hasn't won over enough Latino voters, Cruz said: "The people of Texas, and I will say, especially the Hispanic community, we don't want to see taxpayer-funded, Medicaid-funded abortions."

A question over trade led to a battle about party control in Congress.

Cruz claimed that O'Rourke is the only Senate Democratic candidate this cycle who has explicitly supported Trump's impeachment.

He said that O'Rourke's election would lead to "two years of a partisan circus, shutting down the federal government in a witch hunt on the President."

"It's really interesting to hear you talk about a partisan circus after your last six years in the US Senate," O'Rourke fired back. "If you have this special relationship with President Trump, then where is the result of that? You are all talk and no action."

"I'm against tariffs. I'm against the trade war," Cruz said. "If we're erecting barriers and shutting down trade, that is a bad thing. This is one of the few issues where Congressman O'Rourke and I have some common ground."

The difference, Cruz said, is that he has a relationship with Trump and can advocate for expanded trade. He praised Trump for negotiating a "new NAFTA, a new trade deal," with benefits for Texas.

O'Rourke criticized Trump for alienating trade partners like Canada and Mexico, and said his trade war is "hurting no state more than it's hurting Texas."

Trump has thrown his support behind Cruz and plans to host a rally for his former rival's benefit. On Wednesday morning, he tweeted that the senator has "done so much for Texas" and that O'Rourke would "blow it all."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 512632

Reported Deaths: 10262
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34853555
DeSoto33162432
Hinds32556641
Jackson24830389
Rankin22442402
Lee16238242
Madison14874283
Jones14086247
Forrest13741259
Lauderdale12249324
Lowndes11286193
Lamar10644140
Pearl River9707244
Lafayette8827143
Hancock7835132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7204138
Monroe6989179
Pontotoc6970109
Warren6849178
Panola6746134
Neshoba6726210
Marshall6653141
Bolivar6440151
Union633897
Pike5924156
Alcorn5862107
Lincoln5525136
George510180
Prentiss500884
Tippah490282
Itawamba4829107
Scott477499
Adams4766125
Tate4748116
Leflore4723144
Copiah455895
Yazoo455591
Simpson4543117
Wayne442772
Covington432895
Sunflower4299106
Marion4265112
Coahoma4227109
Leake413790
Newton395581
Tishomingo381793
Grenada3775109
Stone365666
Jasper340166
Attala337790
Winston317792
Chickasaw313367
Clay311878
Clarke301195
Calhoun284449
Holmes271289
Smith268952
Yalobusha243747
Tallahatchie231453
Greene224749
Walthall221366
Lawrence217840
Perry213356
Amite209557
Webster205148
Noxubee188642
Montgomery181557
Carroll174441
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152639
Kemper144941
Choctaw136527
Claiborne134238
Humphreys131139
Franklin124929
Quitman107528
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96834
Sharkey65121
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 844951

Reported Deaths: 16115
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161002006
Mobile741871379
Madison53279732
Shelby38325368
Baldwin38068589
Tuscaloosa36009641
Montgomery34482781
Lee25550263
Calhoun22585518
Morgan22451406
Etowah20013517
Marshall18777316
Houston17727425
St. Clair16875358
Limestone16135218
Cullman16044303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14968306
Talladega14189299
DeKalb12967269
Walker12020380
Blount10714192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10157194
Coffee9414192
Colbert9334208
Dale9018191
Tallapoosa7254201
Russell707765
Chilton7018170
Escambia6955143
Covington6932195
Franklin6340108
Chambers5783142
Marion5401130
Dallas5285209
Pike5118109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369480
Butler3434100
Marengo342393
Monroe337066
Randolph334367
Pickens333188
Fayette330085
Henry320666
Hale318189
Cherokee317563
Crenshaw260477
Washington256952
Cleburne254460
Lamar251253
Clay250869
Macon244764
Conecuh192762
Coosa184947
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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